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Rogue Landlords: New Legislation To Improve The Industry?

  03 Oct 2017

With so many landlords operating in the lettings market, so many potential things that can go wrong and with there being so much money involved, it is understandable that there will be some bad people in the sector. There are rogue landlords and it would be wrong for the estate agency industry to deny this. However, the fact that there is an acknowledgment of this indicates that there is a willingness to root these people out and new regulations which came into effect from April 2017 should ensure that rogue landlords are dealt with more effectively.

The removal of rogue landlords is something that everyone will benefit from. Tenants will clearly benefit from not having to deal with rogue landlords, hopefully providing them with safer accommodation and less hassle or inconvenience. Estate agents and landlords will also benefit because the removal of unprofessional or crooked people from an industry will surely increase confidence levels in the industry. If trustworthy and reliable landlords can be easily identified, the people who provide a good standard of service should receive more custom, which creates an incentive for all landlords to provide a better standard of service.

Local council authorities can now impose larger fines

The key aspect of the new legislation comes with the fact that local council authorities now have the power to impose a fine of up to £30,000 on landlords who are classed as rogue landlords. As an incentive to local housing authorities, the income from these fines can be used to further improve the local rental market, so there is an opportunity for further developments and benefits to occur from council crackdowns.

It is also now possible for local authorities to impose rent repayment orders for a broader range of issues. It used to be that this order could be imposed on landlords with unlicensed property or properties but it can now be imposed on landlords for a wide range of reasons. Relevant reasons include carrying out an illegal eviction, having been found to have harassed tenants, having used violence to gain access to property or having been in breach of a banning order.

It is important to know who can and cannot be trusted

Another change to the way that local council authorities can act includes them having access to data which is linked to deposit protection schemes. Therefore, anything which provides authorities with more information about landlords who are acting in the right way, and which landlords aren’t, should be seen as a good thing for the industry.

While there will always be disagreement with respect to the level of involvement that authorities should have in the property and lettings market, there is no doubt that there is a need for a better standard of regulation. The vast majority of professionals operating in this sector will welcome changes that see rogue landlords being removed from the industry while ensuring that efficiently operating landlords can go about their business as normal.

It is always good to be aware of new regulations and to ensure that you comply with the requirements but on the whole, new regulations targeting rogue landlords should be of benefit to the vast majority of tenants and landlords.


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